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UBA Posts 18% Growth In Earnings As Profit Hits N44.5bn

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Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has released its unaudited results for the first quarter ended March 31st, 2022, recording impressive growth across its income lines.

The bank’s result which was released to the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Tuesday showed that gross earnings rose by 18.3% from N155.4 billion in 2021 to N183.9 billion; while operating income which stood at N106.6 billion as at March 2021, grew by N18% to N125.9 billion in the year under consideration.

The results revealed that the bank’s total assets also rose by 4.1% to N8.9 trillion in the period under review, compared to N8.5 trillion recorded at the end of the 2021 financial year; while shareholders’ funds grew by 2.6% to N825.7bn from N804.8 billion in the same period.

Leveraging on the growth in both interest and non-interest income, the bank’s profit before tax rose to N44.5 billion as at March 2022, up from N40.6 billion a year earlier, while profit after tax stood at N41.5 billion. As always, UBA sustained its strong profitability recording an annualized 20.4% Return on Average Equity (RoAE).

UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kennedy Uzoka, explained that despite the myriad of economic challenges on the global front which shaped the first three months of the year, the bank’s business model continued to show resilience.

These challenges among others, he noted include the ongoing crisis between Russia and Ukraine that has resulted in a huge supply shock, pushing up commodity prices; and the hike in the interest rates in most advanced countries aimed at tackling spiralling inflation, sparking capital flow reversal from emerging and frontier markets.

“Notwithstanding these developments, we were able to leverage gains from our large customer base and vast geographical spread to bolster earnings. We recorded double-digit growth of 18 percent in our gross earnings to N183.9 billion, with our Nigerian operation raking in 65 percent of the revenue while our operations in other countries accounted for the remainder, showing the diversity in our operations,” Uzoka said.

The GMD pointed out that amid the “Great Resignation” wave that has seen a record number of employees across the globe quit their jobs, disrupting the performance of many businesses, UBA, in the last quarter of 2021, thoughtfully reviewed upwards, the salaries of its staff as part of broad measures to retain talents, adding, “We believe our staff is part of our success story with their welfare as a top priority.”

Emphasising the bank’s commitment to sustain value for its shareholders in the 2022 financial year, the GMD said, “With strategies in place to further increase revenue and drive cost lower, we are determined to achieve our Cost-to-Income ratio target of below 60.0% by year-end; and for 2022, we are committed to consolidating on the strong start, surpassing our goals and targets, as we look forward to delivering stronger returns to our esteemed shareholders.

Breaking down the figures, UBA’s Group Chief Finance Officer(GCFO), Ugo Nwaghodoh, said, “Our Q1’22 financial numbers show we are off with a good start. Particularly, 1 am pleased with how we deployed our balance sheet in the period to grow revenues and increase our market share in a number of West African markets. Driven majorly by interest from customer loans and our investments in long-dated instruments, we grew interest income by an unprecedented quarterly rate of 15 percent to N125.1 billion.

“We drove down our annualized cost of funds by 11 basis points to 2.1%. This was achieved despite the uptick in the interest rate environment in the period,” the GCFO said.

He expressed confidence that the bank will meet and surpass its target for the remaining three quarters of the year, adding that “We remain well-capitalized and liquid to fulfil our growth strategy, take up opportunities in key sectors, whilst navigating impending macroeconomic headwinds.”

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-five (25) million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touchpoints in 20 African countries. With a presence in New York, London and Paris, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

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Just In: Again, national grid collapses to zero megawatts

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Nigeria’s national grid crashed to zero megawatts (MW) at 10:51am on Monday, causing power outage nationwide outage.

The collapse occurred days after electricity consumers said they had enjoyed improved supply.

The national electricity grid as of 10am on Monday had 3,712MW generated from 21 Generation Companies (GenCos) before it dropped to 0MW one hour after.

According to the information from the System Operations, a section of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), only Afam IV was on the grid but with zero supply as of 12noon.

As of Sunday, the highest generation was 4,100MW while the lowest was 3,652MW with the frequency hovering between 49.04 Hertz (Hz) and 50.34Hz.

Since July 1 this year, consumers said power supply had increased in their various areas.

For instance, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) recently confirmed increment in its daily allocation to over 500MW from the actual 300MW it had distributed before then.

Though the national grid had not cross 5,000MW, Daily Trust observed that level of load rejection especially around the DisCos’ networks had dropped significantly with some customers entitled to five-hour supply, recording over 12 hours daily.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had attributed the improvement in power supply nationwide to the partial activation of contracts that seeks to hold sector operators liable for deliberate incompetence.

The national grid collapsed twice, in July and in August but was quickly restored and power supply improvement was sustained before the latest system collapse on Monday.

According to records, this is the seventh system collapse this year, much more than the three recorded last year.

Although TCN, the national grid manager was yet to establish the cause of the crash, some insider said it could be as a result of a maintenance of the 330 kilovolts Jos – Bauchi transmission line maintenance slated for Monday.

Some DisCos including Kaduna Electric, Enugu, and Kano, had already communicated the nationwide outage to their customers noting that efforts were ongoing to restore supply.

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Police Deploy More Personnel To Seaports In Lagos Over Nigerian Students, NANS’ Protest

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Following the ASUU strike that has kept university students across the nation at home for over seven months, NANS declared “Occupy The Airport” nationwide protest.

The Nigeria Police Force has announced that it has deployed personnel to adequately secure seaports across the nation following a threat by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to shut down commercial activities at the nation’s busiest seaports ¬¬¬¬¬¬- the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in protest over the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Following the ASUU strike that has kept university students across the nation at home for over seven months, NANS declared “Occupy The Airport” nationwide protest.
The aggrieved students who protested on Monday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport also reportedly threatened to ground commercial activities at the Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports in Lagos State.
Disclosing the security beef up to Daily Trust, the Commissioner of Police in charge of Western Port Authority Command, Jonathan Towuru, said security was tightened around the Western Ports to avoid any breakdown of law and order although the student body did not show up as threatened.
The commissioner said, “People went about their businesses while operations at the terminals went on seamlessly, without any hindrance. But if the students eventually turn up, we will engage them in discussions. I must say that they conducted themselves well on Monday at the airport even though you still saw police monitoring the protest.”

 

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Evans The Billionaire Kidnapper Bags 21 Year Imprisonment

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Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offences Court on Monday sentenced kidnap kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, and his co-defendant, Victor Aduba, to 21 years imprisonment for kidnapping one Sylvanus Hafia.

They were accused of conspiring and kidnapping Sylvanus Ahanonu Hafia at about 5:30 pm on June 23, 2014, at Kara Street, Amuwo Odofin in Lagos and were alleged to have captured and detained Hafia and demanded a ransom of $2m.

But they pleaded not guilty to the four charges.

The judge held that the sentence would serve as a deterrent to other aspiring kidnappers

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